McDonald's pulls ad tying Filet-o-Fish to boy's dead dad

Paterniano Del Favero
Mag 20, 2017

As the mother narrates all the achievements of her late spouse, like being good with girls (yes, you read that right), the boy looks down on himself to see that none of the traits fit him.

Fergus Crow, CEO of the charity which has drop-in centres in Wigan and Leigh, was pleased with the fast-food chain's decision to cancel the campaign, citing it as a major step towards the voices of the bereaved being heard.

McDonald's said Tuesday it was withdrawing the ad "completely and permanently" and would "review our creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again".

It is not until the child bites into a McDonald's fish burger that his disappointment is countered, as his mother says: "That was your dad's favourite, too". The advertisement first aired on May 12 and was scheduled to run for seven weeks.

A commercial created by the McDonald's United Kingdom creative agency Leo Burnett sparked about 100 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, according to The Drum. ASA said it had received almost 100 complaints this week and the adverse objections are still pouring in. Some complainants have referenced the proximity to Father's Day.

"We've listened & made a decision to remove our "Dad" TV advert from today". Lost my dad at 9.

Matt Wilson, a press officer at the Advertising Standards Authority, said the regulator would asses whether there are grounds to launch an investigation. All about a kid whos dad has died but don't worry he's happy because he's taken to McDonalds.

"We're not surprised that some people have viewed the McDonald's advert as exploiting children's grief", he said. For their part, reps for McDonald's United Kingdom claim the chain never anticipated the ad would cause "any upset", and they've put out a statement apologizing for "disappoint [ing] those people who are most important to us - our customers".

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